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November 5, 2008

Healthy Holiday Cocktails

Drink This, Not That

drink recipes marie claire cocktail

The Marie Claire Cocktail.

Photo Credit: Philip Friedman/Studio D

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The Right Way to Fill Your Glass This Season
Make these changes in your holiday glass and you can truly toast to good health.

Instead of: Eggnog
Drink a: Hot Toddy
Why: Traditional eggnog packs nearly 350 calories and 11 grams of fat per cup — that's as much as a McDonald's cheeseburger. A hot toddy keeps that comfort feeling with a little over 160 calories per drink. Just mix a double shot of rum with a sugar cube that you've rubbed lemon onto. Then add a cinnamon stick and top off with boiling water.

Instead of a: Sidecar
Drink an: Old-Fashioned Gin Cocktail
Why: Darker drinks, like the cognac-laden sidecar, contain congeners — toxins that can give you heck of a hangover when they cross the blood-brain barrier (after you've had too many). The gin in the old-fashioned should reduce hangover risk — but only if you don't drink to oblivion to begin with. Inhibitions failed? Diminish hangover symptoms by drinking a lot of fluids that contain minerals and electrolytes (like sports drinks) to help alleviate dehydration. Caffeine can also help subdue morning-after headaches.

Instead of an: Apple Martini
Drink a: Mojito
Why: Calories, calories, calories. Despite the fact that the mojito starts with a nice bit of sugar being muddled with the mint, it's only 149 calories (per 3.5-ounce glass). The average apple martini packs about 235 calories.

Instead of: White Wine
Drink: Red Wine
Why: Red wine contains special antioxidants (quercetin, catechins, and resveratrol) that help squelch the inflammation and free radicals that make a mess of blood vessel walls. But if you just don't do red, know that white wines (and beer) contain ethanol, which helps increase good cholesterol and discourages blood clots. But, like bling and celebrity, too much wine — or alcohol of any kind — isn't good at all. Not only does it add to morning-after regrets, it makes your body older than you are (discover your RealAge at realage.com).

The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, are authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet. To submit questions, go to realage.com.

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